Sunday, November 29, 2009

Running In Blaze Orange?

In retrospect, maybe it wasn't a good idea to go running through the trails wearing my brown furry coat with white top. Obviously I am only kidding as it is the last weekend of deer hunting here in Wisconsin. During my run yesterday, I did hear gun shots a few times but did not see any hunters, and no, I did not run on a trail through the wood.

Mike, Chaz and I met at Mike's home at 6:30AM on Saturday for another longer run. We planned on doing 17 miles along the same hilly course and even add a few more hills to make it 17. My plan was to run it nice and slow like last week but this time, not pick it up at the end. I was about 28F out when we started but it was sunny so it would warm up some. It is colder now up here so this time I had on 3 shirts (1 long, 2 short) but still wore my shorts. I am not ready to pull out the running tights quite yet. I can handle the cold on my legs so no worries.

Mike and Chaz kept with me for the first 2 miles before they took off and ran close to 8:00 pace as I kept it between 9:20 and 9:30. It was beautiful and calm out and I felt pretty good all the way. I did have one mile under 9:00 but that was because there was a long downhill. I tried hard to keep the pace easy as that is what I am trying to do differently. I ended up averaging 9:22 for the 17 miles.

We sat around talking for awhile before I went home and took a nice hot shower as I was feeling quite cold by then. Little did I know that this was the first sign of worse to come later that night. As I am watching a movie with my oldest princess (The Sound of Music), she tells me she is feeling bad and has an upset stomach. I took her to bed and after I went to bed, I woke up freezing. I put on some sweatpants and a sweatshirt to sleep in under the covers and I was so cold. I also had a headache and felt warm. Yes a fever has hit the house. This morning I woke up still cold and achy all over. It felt like I ran a full marathon the day before I ached so much. I had the oh so fun hot and cold streaks. I even stayed home from Church today with my princess who was sick as well.

It is now 3:30ish and I am starting to feel better. I actually ate something which was good and my headache is starting to go away though it is still there. The achy body is starting to go as well so I am hoping that this was only one of those 24 hour things.

We did have some nice weather yesterday afternoon. It got to about 55 and sunny so I was able to put the rest of the Christmas lights up on the house. They are not on yet as I will wait a few more days. I am going to have to figure out how many lights I have on the house and yard this year. it is more than last year though I am no where near "Clark W. Griswold" levels. The princesses are getting excited about Christmas and will be seeing Santa next weekend. The gifts are being purchased and there are many church services to attend over the next 5 weeks. I will try to squeeze in as much running as I can during this time though I may need to do some of it early in the morning before work.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1300 and Counting

I was looking at my mileage for the year on Monday with Mike. I am now over 1300 miles for the year. The past 3 or so years, I have topped off at between 1200 and 1240, but this year I have made an effort to increase my miles. Looks like I did it. We did wonder if I would make it to 1500 for the year. If I do, I would need to average close to 40 per week. Not exactly a lot but enough to be a number I might not meet. We will see in 5 or so weeks.

Today I did get 5 miles closer though. I went out for a run at 5:30PM and it was misty and drizzling and about 44F. After 2 miles, it was raining pretty good. The good news was that the rain made me pick up the pace so I could get out of it. I really didn't mind the rain though, I actually like running in the rain, once I am all wet that is. I mean, when you are already wet, why not enjoy it. I did wear my reflective vest today and I am glad I did. With the rain and darkness, i am sure drivers would have a hard time seeing me without it. At least most of the drivers moved out of the way in plenty of time, except, that is, for the UPS driver who was slowing down to make a delivery and decided to pull over right in front of where I was running. Hello, let's try to avoid the the bright reflective item in the road!

I am planning on getting up early for a short run before I go to my princesses school to help set up the Thanksgiving feast they have planned for the PreK, Kindergartners, and First Graders. They will put on a little show in the church first before the feast so I am looking forward to it.

Good luck to all of you running Turkey Trots this year.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Long Slow Run

Yesterday was my first venture down the road of the "Slow Long Run". Usually when I do a long run, I do it at about the pace that I want to run a marathon at. It usually isn't all that hard for an 18 to 22 miler, but my recent history with marathon finishes have made me rethink how I plan on running these long runs. And yesterday was the start of this attempt.

After only about 5 to 5 1/2 hours of sleep, I got up at about 5 and was to Mike's house by 6AM. A small tragedy was was in full process as I stepped into the house. Mike's son had gotten a crayfish as a school experiment and it was kept in a small Tupperware bowl. During the night, the crayfish escaped and was somewhere in the house (or the cat ate it?) Eventually it was found, alive no less, about 15 feet away near to sofa.

I was leaving before Mike and Chaz so they could run faster than me and we all end about the same time. In fact, the plan was for them to "catch me" about mile 12 and I was going to pick up the pace and run with them for the final 2 miles. So off on my own I went. The first mile was 9:06 and it was kind of hard to run that slow that early in a run. I slowed it more and actually averaged 9:40 at mile 12, perfect. We ran our usual course we call "The Looper", but this time was went down a new way for a bit to add about 2 1/2 miles to the course. None of us had run this part before and we were in for a surprise.

I take the new turn and all of a sudden, just past the herd of cows, there is a long steep downhill. the type of downhill you can't run very fast on. After crossing the river, a steep uphill until the next turn. I get to that turn and look ahead and I actually said out loud (I was by myself) "Holy Crap!" as I saw a hill that looked like a large wall. It was steep but I managed to keep my 9:35 pace. After that another downhill before the turn to another long 3/4 mile hill that was not steep, just long.

So far I am loving this new course, the hills will help so much. I get to mile 12 and look back and Mike and Chaz are nowhere to be seen. I decide to pick it up as planned without them. Like I said, so far the pace was 9:40 but mile 13 was dropped to 8:19, not all that fast for me, but fast after 12 miles. Then I had a nice easy downhill for a bit and ran mile 14 in 7:13. I was cruising! I finished with an average pace of 9:22 so I am happy with what I set out to do. I plan on running this new course again even if Chaz and Mike were cursing me while they ran behind me (it was my idea to run this new direction).

About 15 minutes later, Mike and Chaz run in and it turns out they ran about 30 seconds per mile slower that they set out to do.

I plan on another longer run next weekend. I am not sure how long but I will again try it at a slow pace. Right now I am thinking of 16 or 18 miles. I will see who is available to join me for the run first.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

God Made You Special

There was no running today so I am home from work baking dinner while I watch VeggieTales with my princesses. Have you ever watched VeggieTales? It is actually quite good. It is a cartoon about Vegetables who tell Christian stories. The video we are watching is called "God Made You Special". This got me thinking about running and how God gave me (as well as all my running blog friends) the gift to be able to run. Now God didn't give me the same amount of a running gift that he gave Ryan Hall or Michael Johnson or Usain Bolt but it is a gift none-the-less and I would like to use it to the best of my ability. I don't always train the right ways or give 100% but I really should since it is a gift and could be taken away at any time.

Yesterday I was able to use that gift well. Mike and I went on a 5 miler that turned into a 6 miler. We started out easy but after halfway, we kept picking it up. We dropped the pace to the low 8's and then Mike drove us home with a 7:17 to finish. This felt great. I did have issues with my ankle that keeps popping up but I am dealing with it. I am hoping this weekends longer run goes well too. Nice and easy.

Just remember all you runners out there. I don't care if you run marathons or as short as 5K's, God gave you a gift to run so use it to the best ability you can. And remember:

God Made You Special

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Maybe a Slow "Looper" on Saturday

I keep thinking about the training ideas that I wrote about yesterday and on Saturday, I may put it to the test. Mike and I are planning on about a 14 mile run on the "Looper" course but adding 3 miles. On the map, the added 3 miles will add a lot of hills to an already hilly course. I will plan on running slow, about 9:30 pace to as slow as 10:00. Chaz may join us for the run which means that Mike and Chaz will probably run quite a bit faster. Maybe I will get there early and start early, that way we can all finish close to the same time. And if I start early and they catch me along the way, I may try to keep with them at the faster pace for the final mile or so.

I did run again after work today. I am trying to get back in the game with running since I haven't had any real training since 2 weeks before my October marathon. It has been all taper, marathons, and recovery since then. I have some time now before the next marathon to get some good miles it. Tonight it was 5 miles by myself. It was cold, dark and windy as I started and it was very, very lightly raining. It was a good easy run. I averaged 8:25 or so and it did feel easy. I plan on running another 5 or so tomorrow so my mileage this week should be a little higher than in recent weeks. It is only 9 miles so far this week, but if I run 5 tomorrow, 5 on Friday, and 14 on Saturday, that would make it 33 for the week. Not exactly a huge week, but a lot compared to recent weeks.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What Have I Learned?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about my running, training, and racing since Indy. And on my 4 mile run today with Mike, we discussed it some. I think there are a few changes I need to make if I really want to consistently break 4 hours and eventually draw closer to the dream goal of a Boston Qualifying time. Here are some thoughts:

If you have read my blog for awhile, you will know that when I go on a long run, I usually run it at marathon pace. This really isn't hard for me to do for a 20 miler. But all the coaches and experts say that you should run them slower. They say that the time on your feet is more important than the distance. I have always felt that if I could do these longer runs faster, I would become that much stronger. I am less convinced of this now so next year and the remainder of this year, I will try to run my long runs at a slower pace. It will probably feel really slow to me, but then again, it should feel a hell of a lot faster than, say, miles 23 through 26 of Indy. I plan on still doing a few longer runs faster, maybe even some 3-1 runs where I run slow the first 3/4 of the run and pick it up for the last 1/4 but I will give it a try.

I am also going to try to run even longer in hopes that my muscles will become stronger and less apt to tire toward the end of a race. I did do a 26 mile training run about 2 months ago before WhistleStop and I think I will do more. I may go up to 28 but I will do these runs slow like I stated up top. I might wait until spring to do these, maybe not. We will see.

I am not sure these are good ideas or bad ideas. I just know that I need to change it up some. I know I am capable of running a faster marathon and I feel I "could" run as fast as 3:30 if I train properly and pull it all together on race day

It is good to have goals. Set your goals high . . . then shatter them!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

366 Days of Posting, 166th Post

I did a little checking and it turns out that I joined the world of blogging 1 year ago today. I wanted to create a blog where I could help others with their running, help myself with my running, talk about my friends and all the races we do, and meet others who share the same interest as I do about running. I think I have accomplished most of these goals and I think I will continue. Does anyone out there feel differently? Does anyone want a little different type of blog or maybe something different? Let me know!

So what have I done running-wise since I first posted? I have run many short races, 6 full marathons, and 1454 miles of running. I am not fully satisfied with my racing performances during the past 365 days but they haven't been all bad.

What has been bad is my training since my marathon 5 weeks ago. I haven't run nearly enough and I need to get back on the horse. This week is no exception. I did run 4 miles this week so far but I am recovering from the marathon this past weekend. I really ought to be out there for a nice slow 10 miler this weekend but I am not. I will get back to it next week though. I now have 2 1/2 months to train before the next marathon, actually marathon and a half.

So what did I do not running today? I went to help out my parents with some yard work and household chores. Then after I got home, it was so nice out (61F), I decided to put up the Christmas Lights. Notice I said "PUT UP" not "PUT ON" the Christmas Lights. In my mind, it is acceptable to have your lights up this early, especially up here where it could be very cold this time of year with possible snow. My rule, though, is that the lights don't go on until the first week of December. I have seen a few house with lights already on but not me. Can't you all wait until at least AFTER Thanksgiving? Let's keep the holidays in order. There is even a radio station here that started 24 hours a day Christmas Music. AARRGGHH Well, at least they waited a bit more than last year when they started on Halloween night.

OK, back to the training table and back to the roads!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dean Karnazes & Michael Jackson

I mentioned in my last post that at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Expo, I got the DVD "Dean Karnazes is UltraMarathon Man". Dean is an ultra runner meaning he runs longer than a marathon in distance for races and for regular training runs. This DVD follows him and his family/crew as he runs 50 Marathons in 50 Days in 50 States. Sounds crazy, huh?

This is an very interesting DVD though. Since he runs on 50 consecutive days, he doesn't run too many actual race day marathons, but instead, mostly runs the exact course of a marathon with the help of the race director for that marathon. He also has many people join him as he runs these courses. He does run a few actual races like the Chicago Marathon, Marine Corp Marathon, a few smaller ones and finishes his 50th by running the New York City Marathon.

What I really liked about the DVD is that his message for doing this is for Kid's Health. He wants kids to get off the couch and run. This is the same reason for the Kid's Marathon I put on this past year and will continue to put on next year. It gave me one heck of a brainstorming idea today while I was at work. It is a huge and ambitious idea that I most likely will not pursue too far, but it is fun to dream.

As I watched, I realized that I actually ran one of the races that Dean Karnazes ran during his 50 days and I have also run 4 total marathons that he reenacted. the race I ran with him was the Chicago Marathon which was around #35 or so for him. He beat me by 25 minutes. He also ran the courses of the Grand Rapids Marathon (Michigan) , Twin Cities Marathon (Minnesota), and the Green Bay Marathon (Wisconsin). I have run the first 2 and ran 3 different marathon relays at Green Bay. It was fun seeing the courses and recognizing the sites on the DVD.

This was a fun DVD to watch and as I mentioned before, if any of my blog friends wants to borrow it to watch, just let me know. We can set up where I need to send it via email.

On the way home from Indianapolis, it was a nice warm sunny November afternoon. I was making good time so I decided to stop somewhere on the way home for 15 minutes. I was passing Gary, IN and pulled off the express way about 1 mile and saw Michael Jackson's boyhood home. Hey, I was curious. I took a few pictures to show you but was this house ever small! How on earth did there live 2 parents, 6 boys and 3 girls in this house? Truly amazing. Interesting enough was that all the posts in the area and street signs were all written over with wishes for Michael and his family.

The front of the house Michael Jackson grew up in.

The backyard of Michael Jackson's boyhood home. Tiny!

No running yet. Maybe a short run tomorrow. I am going over in my mind what may have gone wrong with the race and what I need to do to improve. I have some ideas and I will share them with you soon. The next marathon is The Icebreaker Indoor Marathon on January 24th. 2 1/2 month to prepare.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Race Report - Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

We can describe my performance at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in 2 word. Those 2 words are "Crash" and "Burn". I finished in 4:18:17, a whole 23 minutes slower than I ran 4 weeks ago. But not is all lost, it was a pretty fun marathon for 85% of the race and it was a well put on event. Here is the report:

I drove down to Indianapolis on Friday afternoon arriving at the Expo at about 4:30. The expo was quite nice. It wasn't a large expo and but it also wasn't a small one either. There were about 30 or so booths and some nice information to be seen. I did pick up one this that I am looking forward to watching. I got the DVD of "UltraMarathon Man" by Dean Karnazes. This is about when he did 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Let me know if any of you would like to borrow it after I am done with it. I would be more than happy to lend it out.

The night before the race, I slept horribly. The hotel was a bit noisy and the doors from the other rooms kept opening and closing and they were quite squeaky. I think I only got 3 hours of actual sleep even though I was laying there for 7.

I finally got up around 5 and started getting ready and ate my usual 2 packets of oatmeal. I drove to the starting area and got a parking spot only 1/2 a block for the start line for only $5. the expo area was also still open leaving a warm area to relax before the race. During this time, I tried something new, I ate a bagel with peanut butter. I have read that this helps so why not try it.

I go to the start area and it is very organized. It is a good temperature, about 50 and sunny. It is suppose to get windy later, and it does, but there is not much at this time. I get the Garmin set and the race starts close to on time. As usual, it is crowded at the start with both the half and full marathoners starting together. About 30 seconds into the race, my garmin gets bumped by another runner and goes out. It is early, so I reset it and can still use it for average pace. Little did I know that this was this was only the first mishap.

The first 5 miles of the course were not so exciting, Except for running part the "Monument", it was just running through city street that were not too nice. After that the course gets much nicer.

At 2 miles, it warms up enough and I take off my long sleeve shirt and am now running in my singlet.

Mishap #2 happens just before the 4 mile mark. I was running along near the curb and there was a glob of dried cement on the street that I didn't see. My foot found it though and I ended up tumbling to the ground scuffing up my hands a little and my left knee. I jumping right back to my feet and started running. I had no poor effect from the fall except for a lot of dirt on my back. I even had one guy about a half mile later pull of twig off my back. The fall didn't effect my results at all but did create a few fun moments throughout the race from other runners who remembered seeing me tumble and mentioning it to me along the way. Oh, the garmin went out AGAIN on the fall so I a had to start it again. I have no idea how long it has been off now, but it is close to 1/10 of a mile.

Miles 4 though 16 go quite well. I am cruising at a nice pace of about 8:40 and am taking my water breaks as scheduled. I feel great and am very confident that I can maintain this pace and run a 3:50. I go past the half marathon in 1:54:51. About 15 1/2 miles, I hit the only real hills on the course. It is a double hill but they are not very big and no problem.

Mile 16 to 20 are usually my downfall so I relax as much as possible. The wind in now blowing about 15 MPH into my face and the temps have risen to about 65. I slow a little but not too much and am now thinking of running 3:55 as I did 4 weeks ago. Miles 20 and 21 start to wear me out though and my legs begin to tire. I am not exactly sure why this happened. My pace felt comfortable but now I am trying to figure out how to still run a sub 4. I take a longer walk break to try to reset myself and start out a little slower. This has worked in the past but not today.

I get to about 22 1/2 and I break one of my cardinal rules I should NEVER break. I take a break between water stops. Now my body thinks it can take a break whenever it feels like and I go down a spiral that kills my race. The 4 hour pace group passes me and I can't even make a move to keep with them. The final 3 miles are horrible and I think they go from 12 to 13 to 14 minutes. Lots of walking but I had already resigned myself to not breaking 4 hours so I was just there to finish.

I am OK with the results but that is not to say I am happy with it. I would love to know what happened after 21 miles. I will live to run again and my next marathon is scheduled for January. I will rethink how things went and how I trained and see what I need to tweak.

My race aside, this was a nice, well run, organised marathon. After 5 miles, the course was above average. Nice neighborhood to run through, nice scenery and some city running. There were not too many hills, I would call this a pretty flat course. The crowd was thin at times but was supportive. One thing I liked was there were a lot of water stops. I think the longest we ever went between water stops was 1 1/2 miles. The finish area was great with good stuff to eat and drink afterwards. No chocolate milk though! The finish was only 1 block from the start and was only 1 block from the Indiana State Capitol Building. I recommend this race.

Indiana was my 8th state running a marathon in. Only 42 to go to get all 50. I now have Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Texas, Minnesota, and Missouri. I am not saying that I want to join the 50 states club, but it is a start.

I am going to take a few days off now. The legs are feeling sore but not too bad.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Off To Indianapolis

Last night, I went online to sign up for this weekend’s Indianapolis Monumental Marathon but when I got there, it showed that online registration was closed at 8PM and I was trying to sign up at 9PM. Crap! Did I miss it? Well, I made a few calls and got a hold of the race director and he told me there were about 400 spots still open and I could register at the Expo. Sounds good to me, then I thought, what if those spots are taken bu the time I get to the Expo (around 4ish?). I did not want to drive all the way to Indianapolis and find out the race is full. That is about a 5 hour drive from Milwaukee. He assured me that if they were full, that he would make sure I was able to get in. That is what I like about a lot of the race directors for these marathons. The race director for the Grand Rapids Marathon told me the same thing 2 years ago.

Why sign up so late you may ask? Well, there have been some issues with my family that I needed to make sure were is good standing before I left for a day and a half. My Dad had bone spur surgery on his foot about 3 weeks ago and is moving quite slow. Then my Mom had a biopsy done on her lungs on Monday and just got out of the hospital yesterday. Good news though, the spots are not cancer but instead are scars from a rare fever she had a few years ago. It was a scary few days for us with her, but the Lord answered our prayers!

Now all that is bad enough and they need help at home, obviously, and I do have brothers that can help, but the closest brother to where they live broke his leg about 3 weeks ago as well. Crappy few weeks for my family, huh. So he can’t help much. They my other brother close by who has been helping a lot, is having a party Saturday night and will need to prepare there. So with all that going on, I am going over to my parent’s house tonight with the Princesses to help out however I can until I return and can go back there Saturday night when I get back.

It is all good though. I will leave tomorrow morning right after 2 parent-teacher conferences and make the trek across Wisconsin, the tip of Illinois and down Indiana. I borrowed a few Comedy CD’s from a friend to help pass the time. Music for 5 hours just doesn’t cut it when you are by yourself sometimes. A little laughter always helps.

The weather looks pretty good for racing on Saturday. Sunny and a starting temp of 46ish. When I finish about 55ish. The winds are a bit high though. Close to 15 MPH from the SSW which means a tough last few miles as we go south. Maybe the building will block some. We can only hope!

Good Luck to the rest of you who may be running this weekend. I haven’t heard of anyone, but maybe someone will find this post who is running in Indy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jenny Crain and The Milwaukee Running Community

If you subscribe to Runner's World or buy it off the shelf, you may have read a nice article in the November Issue this year. It was an article about Jenny Crain. If you don't know her, here is a brief recap:

Jenny was an Olympic caliber marathon runner from Milwaukee. She had qualified for 4 US Olympic Marathon Trials and even was the first American woman in the 2005 New York City Marathon. In August of 2007, she was on training run in Milwaukee getting ready for the Olympic Trials in Boston about 8 months later. While on a morning run, she stepped off the curb near the end of her run and was hit by a car almost killing her. The superior shape her body was in helped save her life. Her running career was over in an instance.

I won't go into detail of what the article said. It was about her recovery and her rehabilitation and how her family is coping and how she has new and old friends helping her out. Please read the whole article to read more. Then today in the local paper here in Milwaukee, there was a story of her finally leaving the Rehab facility to live in her own apartment with a live in assistant. If you want to read that article, see HERE.

What is not said too much in the Runner's World Article or the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, is exactly how much Jenny Crain was loved and endeared by the local running community. I do not know her personally though it is possible I have spoken to her before. What is really great about her when she was a world class runner is that she was so open and friendly with the Milwaukee running community. She ran a lot of the local charity races from 5K's to 10 milers. I mean a lot of them. I can't tell you how often I saw her at races, at least I saw the back of her, for a little bit. All the kidding aside, she may have only been doing a Tempo run or a training run, but she was there with the masses of us regular runners. And she was not the type to gloat over her wins in these races or gloat about how great she was. She was humble and generous to all.

How often do you go to a local race and have a world class runner there? And with her, it was often.

I have run with a couple other world class runners in my past, and it seems that most of them are extremely nice, just like Jenny Crain. Dan Held (represented the US in the Ultra-Marathon World Championships one year) lives in the Milwaukee area and is this way. I have run with him a few times at the Pettit Center in my past faster running days on cool downs. Dan is the same, runs in a lot of the local races and is extremely friendly to everyone as well.

I wouldn't wish what happened to Jenny Crain on anyone. It is such a sad story that it happened to such a great person. But she is getting better and we all like that, especially all the runners in Milwaukee who have seen her so often.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Crazy 8K Race, Naples, Florida

Before I went to Naples, Florida last week, I went online and looked to see if there were any road races going on that I might be able to jump into. I ended up making it to the Gulf Coast Runners Club and found out there was going to be an 8K race on Sunday, October 25th. It was called the Crazy 8K and was very similar to a race we have in Milwaukee called the Discovery Run. So I decided to go and run it.

The night before the race, I was at a party and met another guy from Milwaukee and we talked running. I said I was doing a race in the morning and he said he wanted to go as well. While he has done a lot of triathlons before, he has never done just a running race.

Steve and I before the race.

We met at 6 AM and drove in the darkness to where the race would begin. We signed up and did a mile and a half warm up and then headed to the start. This is kind of like a Halloween race so there were many people dressed up. Spiderman ran as well as a full grown adult baby clad in only a diaper and bonnet (quite disturbing). The race was mostly an out and back on a very flat course. The weather was warm, low to mid 70's at the 7:30 start but everyone there was glad it was cool. They have been having hot weather recently.

The gun goes off and I make sure I go out conservatively in the heat. Mile 1 was at 7:02, a little faster than I wanted but OK. The remainder of the race was very consistent for me. Every mile was between 7:00 and 7:08 and I ended in 35:19 good for near 32nd place overall out of about 200 or so runners. After checking the results, I found out that I took 3rd in my age group out of 16. COOL.

Someone took pictures during the race and posted them online including my finish.

During the awards, when they got to mentioning me, the guy announcing said my name and where I lived. When he got to Saying"Wisconsin", he said it in a questioning tone as if to say, "What the heck is someone from Wisconsin down here for?" There were runners from other states as well, Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, Indiana and even someone from Ontario, Canada. But I was the first non-Floridian to finish for whatever that is worth.

This was a nice little race and the Gulf Coast Runners put on a good event. The other runners were friendly (duh, they are runners after all) and I had a good time. If I happen to be in the Naples area again when this race it run, I would definitely go again.

The awards I received.

A close up of the nice Halloween Ornament I received.